Thought for the day – Psalm 106


Psalm 106

1 Praise the LORD. Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; his love endures for ever. 2 Who can proclaim the mighty acts of the LORD or fully declare his praise? 3 Blessed are they who maintain justice, who constantly do what is right. 4 Remember me, O LORD, when you show favour to your people, come to my aid when you save them, 5 that I may enjoy the prosperity of your chosen ones, that I may share in the joy of your nation and join your inheritance in giving praise.

6 We have sinned, even as our fathers did; we have done wrong and acted wickedly.7 When our fathers were in Egypt, they gave no thought to your miracles; they did not remember your many kindnesses, and they rebelled by the sea, the Red Sea. 8 Yet he saved them for his name’s sake, to make his mighty power known. 9 He rebuked the Red Sea, and it dried up; he led them through the depths as through a desert. 10 He saved them from the hand of the foe; from the hand of the enemy he redeemed them. 11 The waters covered their adversaries; not one of them survived. 12 Then they believed his promises and sang his praise. 13 But they soon forgot what he had done and did not wait for his counsel. 14 In the desert they gave in to their craving; in the wasteland they put God to the test. 15 So he gave them what they asked for, but sent a wasting disease upon them. 16 In the camp they grew envious of Moses and of Aaron, who was consecrated to the LORD. 17 The earth opened up and swallowed Dathan; it buried the company of Abiram. 18 Fire blazed among their followers; a flame consumed the wicked. 19 At Horeb they made a calf and worshipped an idol cast from metal. 20 They exchanged their Glory for an image of a bull, which eats grass. 21 They forgot the God who saved them, who had done great things in Egypt, 22 miracles in the land of Ham and awesome deeds by the Red Sea. 23 So he said he would destroy them—had not Moses, his chosen one, stood in the breach before him to keep his wrath from destroying them. 24 Then they despised the pleasant land; they did not believe his promise. 25 They grumbled in their tents and did not obey the LORD. 26 So he swore to them with uplifted hand that he would make them fall in the desert, 27 make their descendants fall among the nations and scatter them throughout the lands. 28 They yoked themselves to the Baal of Peor and ate sacrifices offered to lifeless gods;          29 they provoked the LORD to anger by their wicked deeds, and a plague broke out among them. 30 But Phinehas stood up and intervened, and the plague was checked. 31 This was credited to him as righteousness for endless generations to come. 32 By the waters of Meribah they angered the LORD, and trouble came to Moses because of them; 33 for they rebelled against the Spirit of God, and rash words came from Moses’ lips. 34 They did not destroy the peoples as the LORD had commanded them, 35 but they mingled with the nations and adopted their customs. 36 They worshipped their idols, which became a snare to them. 37 They sacrificed their sons and their daughters to demons. 38 They shed innocent blood, the blood of their sons and daughters, whom they sacrificed to the idols of Canaan, and the land was desecrated by their blood. 39 They defiled themselves by what they did; by their deeds they prostituted themselves. 40 Therefore the LORD was angry with his people and abhorred his inheritance. 41 He handed them over to the nations, and their foes ruled over them. 42 Their enemies oppressed them and subjected them to their power. 43 Many times he delivered them, but they were bent on rebellion and they wasted away in their sin. 44 But he took note of their distress when he heard their cry; 45 for their sake he remembered his covenant and out of his great love he relented. 46 He caused them to be pitied by all who held them captive.

47 Save us, O LORD our God, and gather us from the nations, that we may give thanks to your holy name and glory in your praise. 48 Praise be to the LORD, the God of Israel, from everlasting to everlasting. Let all the people say, “Amen!” Praise the LORD.


Psalm 106 – The sweep of history (Part 2)

Psalms 106 and 105 are Parts 2 and 1 of the sweep of Israel’s history. Neither of these long psalms (48 and 45 verses respectively) are covered in detail in these ‘Thoughts for the Day’ on psalms. Please read the modified summary from ‘The Bible Panorama’ and A more detailed look at verses 34-40 (below). Please do read all of the two psalms.

Modified summary from ‘The Bible Panorama’

(Verses 1–5) Remembrance Having first praised the LORD and given thanks to Him for His uniqueness and for His particular dealings, the psalmist asks God to remember him and to give him His salvation with all its attendant benefits.

(Verses 6-46) Review Nevertheless, the psalmist identifies himself in confession with the sins of the people of Israel. He sees himself as no different in heart from them. He then reviews the seesaw of Israel’s repentance and rebelliousness against the ever-ready mercy and grace of God when God’s people turn back to Him. He charts Israel through to Moses, by name. He then summarises the period from Joshua to Jeremiah, without naming them. Always in focus are God’s goodness and His people’s fickleness.

(Verses 47–48) Request This reminder of human sinfulness and God’s merciful grace causes him to ask God to save His people. Again, he ends on the same note of praise that opened the Psalm.

A more detailed look at verses 34-40 on Why God told Israel to destroy their foes in Canaan.

The nations in Canaan’s ‘Promised Land’ were evil. God knew that Israel would be contaminated by their evil and become like them if they survived. So, He commanded His people to destroy those evil nations. They worshipped idols. Idolatry involved both sexual perversion and horrific child sacrifice. Those living in those nations killed their own sons and daughters as sacrifices offered to idols. Sadly, when Israel did rebel, these same abominable things did actually happen. That is why God was so hard on Israel in judgment to make them come back to Him in repentance. God is a holy God who hates sins, and their effects on others.